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Pop Montreal 2006

Tune into Tokyo (sorry): Assorted Thursday Shows @ Pop

Posted by Jer / October 6, 2006

When reviewing 6 shows in a night, it's best to pace oneself. A reviewer should tread cautiously and try not to use up pompous rock criticism adjectives like "infectious" and "urgent" too early. All that remains after that is "good" and "nice stuff".

Local electro-poppers Hexes and Ohs are a great way to start off an evening of Pop Montreal. Their feel good beats and computer-synth sounds are the perfect complement to the vocal interplay between the band's two and only members (unless you count the laptop as a member, which, in this case, you probably should). Held at Preloved clothing boutique, the bright lights and close quarters mimicked the intimate tone of sitting around a rehearsal session. Despite a few flat vocal lines, Ed and Heidi are charming to watch and their tunes are undeniably infectious (damn).

Guelph foursome the D'Urbervilles then took the floor and played way too loud for PreLoved's makeshift sound system. They shook the clothes off the rack and delivered 45 minutes of raucous fun. There's an urgency (double damn) to their driving guitar and keyboard riffs. All members contributed some well-timed screams. As an aside, if you dress as squarely as this reviewer does and feel completely out of place in uber-stylish Montreal, a rock show at a clothing store at least allows you to browse for a new wardrobe while rocking out.

On to La Sala Rosa to check out a four band line-up, presented by Puma. Sadly, no free shoes or, for that matter, large felines. Singer/songwriter Snailhouse was a nice break on the ear drums. Michael Feuerstack, Snailhouse's only permanent member, played a beautiful opening set. Feuerstack's guitar work is subtle and delicate. Being the opener is tough and several Sala-ers talked through the set, missing some lovely chord changes in the process. Snailhouse has a revolving cast of characters, but the songs last night stood up just fine on their own.

Merge record label owner and Portastatic frontperson Mac McCaughan then took the stage. Armed with an acoustic guitar, McCaughn offered a glimpse of the upcoming album Be Still Please. The crowd that talked through Snailhouse got even louder through Portastatic's set, despite McCaughn's heavy strumming, the songs seemed to fall flat. The set picked up towards the end as Snailhouse came back onstage; their rhythmic backup filling in some of the empty spaces.

Shifting the night into high gear, Toronto's Tokyo Police Club came on with a fury. Their tight power rock songs usually last no more than 2 minutes but still manage to lodge themselves in your brain. Fuzzed out keyboards, meticulous bass lines and spastic fits of tambourine make for an energetic live show. Songs like "Nature of the Experiment" and "Citizens of Tomorrow" are stand out tracks and hopefully, as this young band develops, there will be more of this kind of killer and less of their other filler. TCPSala.jpg

Closing out the night was The Hot Springs. Toying with a more indie pop sound, these former punkers ran through a variety of musical influences. Singer/guitarist Giselle Webber has a constantly quivering voice that adds an amazing tone to whatever song she is singing. When the guitarist and bassist both broke strings and deserted her onstage, she even jumped into a hip hop interlude to keep us entertained (she's got a rap side project).

By that point, I had to get home with a sense of urgency. Beer, apparently, is infectious.



Edmund / October 10, 2006 at 02:48 pm
thanks for the thursday recap guys, i really enjoyed tokyo police club as well. INFECTIOUS URGENCY! but about hexes' vocals... not fair! heidi was sick, she was such a trooper for sticking it out.
Cristian / February 4, 2015 at 04:13 am
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